At just 22-years-old, National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman made history Wednesday as the youngest inaugural poet. Gorman offered a stirring reading of her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” Gorman asked. Her poem perfectly punctuated President Joe Biden’s inaugural address that called for hope and unity in the face of division and hate.
Like President Biden, she also eloquently and poignantly took aim at the mob violence that rocked the U.S. Capitol just two weeks ago: “We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, It can never be permanently defeated.”
The Los Angeles-based wordsmith is getting rave reviews as one of the highlights of a moving inauguration ceremony that saw history made in various ways, the most pointed being the swearing-in of Kamala Harris as the first woman, and first Black woman of Indian descent to be elected vice president of the United States.
It has been reported that First Lady Dr. Jill Biden personally selected Gorman to perform at the inauguration after witnessing the young poet deliver a poem at an event.
Watch Amanda Gorman’s poem reading above. Find more Biden-Harris inaugural events here by going to bideninaugural.org/watch.